State Treasurer Riley Moore visited New Martinsville Friday, July 22, to present two checks, one to the Wetzel County Sheriff’s Office and the other to the New Martinsville Police Department – proceeds from the Treasurer’s Office’s recent unclaimed property firearms auction.
“It’s always a great opportunity to partner with local law enforcement agencies. These officers are the frontline that protects our communities, and they can use these funds to invest in new, modern equipment and training programs,” said State Treasurer Riley Moore.
Treasurer Moore presented Chief Deputy Rob Hayes with the Wetzel County Sheriff’s Office a check worth $3,136.50 and New Martinsville Police Sergeant Michael Walker with a check worth $5,143.50.
“We’ve been involved with the Treasurer’s Office Annual Gun Auction since the beginning. It’s a seamless, easy process to receive funding for our office,” said Wetzel County Sheriff Michael Koontz.
The firearms auction, which occurred March 24 in Charleston, raised $109,800 to benefit the participating law enforcement agencies. The auction raises funds by selling outdated, unclaimed or old firearms, ammunition and related accessories in police inventory to qualified bidders.
This year’s auction featured the largest number of participating law enforcement agencies, with 19 submitting inventory.
Under West Virginia’s Unclaimed Property Code (Chapter 36, Article 8A), state and local law enforcement agencies are allowed to turn over any unclaimed, seized or outdated firearms in their possession to the State Treasurer’s Office for auction.
These include weapons that are older and no longer used by a department, or that have been seized as evidence and sitting in storage rooms for an extended amount of time following the disposition of a case. They can also include weapons taken from individuals who are not legally allowed to own firearms.
Once law enforcement certifies they cannot find a lawful owner of the firearms, they can be turned over to the Treasurer’s Office for auction.
The proceeds from the auction are then returned to the submitting agency for use.